Accor has sealed a long-term alliance with Huazhu Hotels Group to create a diversified hotel company in China with a portfolio that boasts more than 2,000 hotels.
“This ground-breaking collaboration will leverage the strengths of Accor’s global brands with a leading player in Chinese hospitality,” said Sebastien Bazin, chairman and chief executive of Accor. “Joining Huazhu’s unparalleled local expertise with our brands will create a hospitality powerhouse which will deliver unprecedented value to both groups and to our customers.”
The two parties are hoping that the alliance will rapidly accelerate their expansion in one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing domestic travel markets. Accor in particular will be looking to build awareness of its brands within China through the extensive coverage, reputation and strong development capabilities afforded by Huazhu Hotels Group.
As part of the deal, Accor’s economy (ibis, ibis Styles) and midscale brands (Novotel and Mercure) in China will become franchised by Huazhu, who will operate and develop the properties in Mainland China, Mongolia and Taiwan. The Chinese corporation will also manage the upscale Grand Mercure brand.
Meanwhile, Accor will continue to take charge of the majority of its upscale and luxury properties in China, including Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery and The Sebel.
Huazhu will have a 10 per cent stake in Accor’s luxury and upscale business in China and will help support future development in the country. Likewise, Accor will hold a 10 per cent stake in Huazhu and will have a seat at the company’s board of directors.
The international brand standards across all Accor properties in China will remain consistent, and retain their identities and specifications.